A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 2, Bramber Rape (North-Western Part) Including Horsham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1986.
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The chief manor of the parish, Denne manor, as its name indicates, origin ated as detached swine pasture. (fn. 1) Arable farming succeeded to seasonal pasturing: by 1262 there were tenants of Denne, evidently holding arable land, (fn. 2) and the progress of assarting is presumably reflected in the farm names Kingsfold and Tickfold whose second element feld indicates a clearing in woodland. (fn. 3) The names Broomlands (formerly Broom House) (fn. 4) and Field Place (fn. 5) similarly suggest assarts made on the edges of Broadbridge Heath. Land in open fields (campi) called Eastfield, 'Estlese', and Broadfield, apparently in the south part of the parish, was mentioned in the 14th century (fn. 6) but not later. Other farm names recorded before 1500 are Durfold (fn. 7) and Chickens, (fn. 8) while some later farms whose names correspond to surnames recorded in the parish in the Middle Ages may possibly also date from that period, for instance Chatfolds, Tanners, Betchetts, Sands, Mayes, and Westons farms. (fn. 9) Farms mentioned in the 16th century included Cradles (fn. 10) (the modern Rowhook Manor), Blackstrode, (fn. 11) Cox, (fn. 12) Shiremark, (fn. 13) and Bailing Hill. (fn. 14) Tickfold farm and the estate called Ridgebrook together comprised 80a. in 1550, (fn. 15) and an estate called 'Farthing lands' 40 a. c. 1548. (fn. 16)
Most land within the parish was held of Denne manor, of which there were 45 freeholders in 1410, (fn. 17) and nearly 100 freehold tenements in 1630, including some in Horsham, Nuthurst, Ifield, and Itchingfield. (fn. 18) Some land was held of the Copleys' manor of Warnham in the 16th and early 17th centuries, (fn. 19) and there were both free and copyhold tenements of Hollands manor, including Chickens farm, in 1641. (fn. 20) Manors outside the parish with lands in it included Shortsfield in Horsham, (fn. 21) Broadbridge in Sullington, (fn. 22) Knepp in Shipley, (fn. 23) and Dedisham in Slinfold. (fn. 24) There were still tenements of Denne manor in the later 19th century. (fn. 25)
The farm attached to West House (later Westbrook Hall) had 180 a. in 1756, (fn. 26) but otherwise no farm before 1800 is recorded as having more than 150 a. (fn. 27) In that year three at least were over 200 a.: Old House (later Ends Place), Broom House (later Broomlands), and Stone farm. (fn. 28) Leases of up to 21 years were made in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (fn. 29) Wheat and oats were grown in the 17th and 18th centuries, and sheep, cows, and pigs kept. (fn. 30) In the later 18th century Betchetts and Benland farms were mostly arable (fn. 31) and average yields per acre in the parish were said to be 22 bu. of wheat, 20 bu. of peas, and 28 bu. of oats. (fn. 32) Flax and hops may have been grown during the same period, to judge from field names recorded c. 1840. (fn. 33) In 1801 stock listed in the parish included 339 cattle, 372 sheep, and the large number of 327 pigs. (fn. 34)
Broadbridge Heath, on the southern boundary, belonged to the manors of Broadbridge in Sullington and Drungewick in Wisborough Green; 32 a. were inclosed in 1858, (fn. 35) but the northern part east of Field place remained open in 1982. (fn. 36) The only other common pasture recorded in the parish belonged to Denne manor and was apparently all roadside waste. (fn. 37)
About 1840 (fn. 38) the parish was dominated by four large estates: the West House estate belonging to Richard Barnett in the west and north-west (nearly 1,000 a.), the Broadwood estate in the north and north-east (1,280 a.), the Warnham Court estate around the village (c. 380 a.), and the Shelley estate in the south and south-east (670 a.). Most farms were let, and most had less than 150 a., but some farmers held more than one: three members of the Muggeridge family had nine between them, totalling over 700 a. Another farming family, long recorded in the parish, (fn. 39) were the Charmans, four of whom held land there at the same date. Three chief landowners still dominated the parish in 1867. (fn. 40)
Many farms in the 19th century had shaws, or belts of woodland round closes. (fn. 41) Some shaws were grubbed up during the century; Mayes farm had a much larger acreage of shaws in 1819 than 50 years later. (fn. 42) Other manifestations of 'improvement' were underdraining, carried out in the north-west of the parish and on the Warnham Court estate c. 1850, (fn. 43) and the construction of new farm buildings, for instance at Upper Chickens and Joanland farms at the end of the century, (fn. 44) and most strikingly at Warnham Court farm before 1865. (fn. 45) That farm had attained 600 a. by 1877. (fn. 46) In 1867 the stiff, wet terrain of the parish still made it necessary for three horses in line to pull the plough. (fn. 47) Arable land nevertheless remained predominant during most of the century: (fn. 48) Mayes farm was mostly arable in 1819, (fn. 49) as were Northlands and neighbouring farms c. 1850 (fn. 50) and Kingsfold farm in 1861. (fn. 51) In 1834 only 614 a. of titheable land in the parish were listed as meadow or pasture as against 2,942 a. of arable. (fn. 52) In 1875, when 816 a. of wheat, 56 a. of barley, and 562 a. of oats were listed, there was twice as much arable as permanent grassland. Stock then mentioned included 420 cattle, 139 sheep, and 285 pigs, and there were 27 a. of orchards. (fn. 53)
Large estates continued to dominate the parish in the later 19th and earlier 20th centuries. The West House estate comprised c. 1,700 a., chiefly in Warnham, in 1882, most farms there having less than 200 a. The Broadwood estate, in Warnham and adjacent parishes, was much the same size in 1898, its farms in Warnham also having mostly less than 200 a. each. Most farms on the two estates were then let, (fn. 54) but at the same period and later other farms were being managed instead by bailiffs. (fn. 55) In 1909 there was more rented land than land in owner occupation; four of the 46 holdings then listed had more than 300 a. (fn. 56) Large estates remained in the mid 20th century, for instance the Broadwood estate of 814 a. in 1955, of which all the farmland was let, (fn. 57) the Warnham Lodge estate of c. 550 a. in 1963, (fn. 58) and the Ends Place estate and another each of c. 1,000 a. in 1974. (fn. 59) Of 29 holdings listed in 1975, however, 22 were under 50 ha. (fn. 60)
During the same period the type of farming practised in Warnham changed, as in neighbouring parishes, from predominantly arable to predominantly pastoral. One farm was offered for letting as a dairy farm c. 1905, (fn. 61) in 1907 Warnham Court farm had an excellent herd of cattle, (fn. 62) and in 1910 large black pigs and shorthorn cattle were bred at Westons Place. (fn. 63) In 1909 stock listed included 714 cattle, 932 sheep, and 208 pigs; the area of permanent grass had risen to 3,047 a., or three fifths of the parish. Market gardening and floriculture were also practised on the Warnham Court estate in 1910; in 1909 there were 13½ a. of orchards in the parish. (fn. 64) After 1903 game birds were bred at Brookhouse farm, Kingsfold, c. 20,000 eggs a year being supplied in 1912. (fn. 65) By 1938 there were three poultry farmers in the parish. (fn. 66) One remained in 1957, (fn. 67) when dairy farming and stock raising were still dominant: the six farms into which the Broadwood estate in the north was divided in 1955 were all concerned with dairying or stock raising. (fn. 68) In 1975 cattle remained important, though during the 1970s dairying declined in favour of the raising of beef cattle. (fn. 69) Pigs were raised on Denne and Northlands farms in 1982. (fn. 70)
Mention of mill tithes in 1247 perhaps implies the existence of a mill, (fn. 71) possibly the mill at Caldecote referred to c. 1300, which seems to have been near Farthing Bridge. (fn. 72) A mill called Warnham mill existed in 1588, (fn. 73) but it was apparently not working in the early 17th century, since it was said in 1621 that the parishioners had formerly ground corn at Ashley's, i.e. Amies, mill in Horsham. (fn. 74) A corn mill occupying the site of the iron furnace existed by 1700, (fn. 75) and was worked thereafter until the 20th century. In 1851 the miller farmed 115 a. (fn. 76) Steam power, presumably as a supplement, was introduced before 1882. (fn. 77) The mill ceased operation c. 1930; (fn. 78) the building, of brick with a Horsham stone roof, (fn. 79) survived in 1982, together with the miller's house.
An iron furnace existed at Warnham in 1608, (fn. 80) on the site of the later corn mill at the very large Warnham Mill pond. Furnace slag was visible there in 1928. (fn. 81) The iron ore was possibly brought from pits at the modern Warnham brickworks in Horsham parish. (fn. 82) The furnace had apparently ceased to function by 1638, (fn. 83) and in 1642 ironworkers from Warnham were working in other parishes. (fn. 84)
A pedlary fair was held at Warnham on Whit Tuesday between 1773 and 1792. (fn. 85)
There may have been a tailor in Warnham in 1394, (fn. 86) and in 1538 two common brewers and bakers were listed in Warnham tithing. (fn. 87) Between the later 16th century and the later 18th tailors, (fn. 88) carpenters, (fn. 89) butchers, (fn. 90) blacksmiths, (fn. 91) and wheelwrights (fn. 92) were often recorded, besides weavers (fn. 93) in the 17th century, and mercers (fn. 94) and shoemakers in the 18th. (fn. 95) The Cave family were tailors, mercers, or shopkeepers between 1722 and 1821. (fn. 96) 'Colliers', i.e. charcoal makers, were mentioned in 1649 (fn. 97) and 1688, and a ploughwright in 1688. (fn. 98) A falconer in Sir John Caryll's household was named in 1594. (fn. 99)
Between 1811 and 1831 one in four or five families in work was supported chiefly by non-agricultural pursuits. (fn. 100) In the decade 1810-20 six carpenters, a builder, and a blacksmith were mentioned, besides a butcher, a baker, two shoemakers, and a farrier. Charles Child, one of two namesakes described as builder and carpenter in 1817, (fn. 101) was also recorded between 1810 and 1827 as a timber merchant, who in 1825 was buying timber in Horsham, Slaugham, and elsewhere. (fn. 102) Another timber merchant's business was that said to have been founded in 1823 by Stephen Agate; (fn. 103) by 1866 the firm of J. & S. Agate was established at Warnham and Horsham, (fn. 104) surviving in Horsham in 1982. The abundant woodland of the area also in 1867 yielded springtime employment for agricultural workers in felling and stripping timber. (fn. 105)
The commoner trades continued to be represented in the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 106) Less common ones were those of steam threshing machine proprietor and french polisher recorded in 1866, and nurseryman in 1927. A stone quarry west of Ends Place provided paving stones in 1849 and stone for building in 1882. (fn. 107) In 1885 (fn. 108) the congregation of Dependents or 'Cokelers' bought a grocer's shop in the village, which they ran as a co-operative store; by 1931, when it sold a very wide variety of goods, 31 people were employed. (fn. 109) In 1982 there were in the village two grocers, a butcher, a newsagent, a hairdresser, and a firm of builders.
Meanwhile at Kingsfold a smithy was recorded between 1795 and 1816 (fn. 110) and in the early 20th century; in 1841 there were a shoemaker and a butcher there. (fn. 111) In 1887 there was a shopkeeper, in 1913 a chimney sweep, and between 1927 and 1957 a haulage contractor. The smithy was succeeded before 1957 by a motor engineering business which survived in 1982. (fn. 112) In that year there were also a nursery and a firm of turf suppliers, but no retail shops.
From c. 1950 to c. 1974 the former kitchen garden of Warnham Court was used by the London county council and its successor the Greater London council as a nursery to supply plants for the London parks and for indoor use; (fn. 113) 16 local people were employed in the mid 1970s. (fn. 114) After c. 1978 it was leased to a private nursery. (fn. 115) Two tea rooms were recorded in the parish on the Horsham-Dorking road in 1957. By 1982 the increase in road traffic had brought an antique shop to the village, while on the HorshamDorking road there were a restaurant and a museum of the Second World War, opened in 1976. (fn. 116) Many parishioners then worked outside the parish, especially at the brickworks called Warnham brickworks in Horsham parish, in Horsham town, and at Crawley, Gatwick airport, and as far afield as London. (fn. 117)